Practicing energetic hygiene

Just as your physical body needs regular maintenance and hygiene to remain strong and healthy, so is your subtle body susceptible to gunk, viruses and infections that can clog up your system.

Mastering the art of keeping your energy field clear and sovereign is a vital component of your spiritual development.

You live in a web of connections to other people, even when you are physically distant or isolated. This is especially true of the people you have strong cording to such as current and former lovers, parents, siblings, friends, coworkers, and yes, even clients. In addition, the astral world is full of thought forms and entities that essentially act as viruses. They can replicate themselves and hop from person to person. They can travel along telepathic “phone lines” to and from anyone who has your “number” (in a manner of speaking).

What this means is, unless you learn to “turn off your phone” you will be susceptible to the thoughts and emotions of the world around you.

These connections become especially egregious when someone astrally picks an argument with you and you find yourself sucked into a telepathic fight. This sort of conflict can make you feel angry, beaten, and drained without realizing why. Even worse is a full blown psychic attack when someone directs the full force of their rage or envy in your direction and actively wishes you harm. This can leave you in shreds wondering why you suddenly feel so depleted when everything was fine two minutes ago. A big part of maturing on your spiritual path is recognizing and shielding yourself from these astral influences and attacks, so you don’t end up spending hours in trauma therapy trying to heal something that isn’t yours to begin with.

Remember, cutting cords is not the same as cutting relationships. It is simply about maintaining energetic sovereignty within a relationship, akin to shutting the door to your bedroom when you need to rest, or hanging up the phone when you are done with a conversation.

An effective energetic hygiene regimen should consist of three components: protection, clearing and cultivation.

Protection 

As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure. There are many ways to protect your energy field.

Fundamentally, it’s as simple as setting an intention. Intentions can be spoken silently in your mind, or out loud, or written down. They can be in the form of a prayer or invocation, and may invoke deities, guides or angels of protection, such as Archangel Michael, the god Ganesha, the four directions, or your power animal. They can be visualized, for example, by imagining yourself being zipped up inside a sleeping bag or cocoon, surrounding yourself with a golden sphere of light, or circling your home or your aura with a violet flame.

Other techniques may include drawing sacred symbols on doors and windows (either literally, or with a smudge stick, or crystal wand), and anointing entryways with sacred oil for protection. 

The basic principle is to set an intention for protection and then anchor it as fully as you can through words, objects, rituals and so forth. 

Clearing

Nevertheless, no matter how careful you are with your protections, all creatures love the light and all sorts of astral things will love to stick to you. You can pick them up during a tense meeting at work or a trip to the grocery store, anytime your aura is too open, when you’re tired and depleted, and when you’ve gotten yourself entangled in an argument with someone. 

Physical cleaning actually doubles as an energetic clearing practice: taking a shower, dusting and vacuuming, organizing and purging, etc. are all effective for breaking up pockets of stagnant energy in your home and your aura, and creating space for energy to flow.

Similarly, movement gets energy moving. Simply moving about the house (cooking, cleaning, tidying up) is often enough to clear out the energetic cobwebs. 

Beyond this, once a week or so, a salt bath, smudge (with sage or incense) and  sprinkling of holy or energized water can be for maintenance. Holy water comes from sacred sources such as rivers or springs. Water can also be energized with intention, ritual, moonlight, sunlight, crystals and so on. 

Sound is also very effective for clearing. You can use bells and rattles, buzzing, humming, singing or chanting. For my part, I love to play spiritual music or a protection mantra on repeat (such as the Vajrasattva mantra) while I clean to raise the vibration and ensure the sanctity of my space. 

Finally, visualization can be very beneficial as well, such as imagining your aura filled with pure white light, and releasing any cords or attachments, allowing them to fall away, as if you were a non stick surface like Teflon. 

Personally I love to use aura clearing oils on my chakras and creating sprays with them. 

For the more stubborn attachments, getting help from an energy healer such as myself, can be the best approach.

Cultivation 

Subtle energy must be actively cultivated and managed in the same way you rest and exercise your body to grow strength and support your health.

Yoga, dance, and breathwork generate life force, prana, that helps you not only clear your energy field, and elevate your mood, but also helps release tension or inflammation in the body, fight off physical infections, and so on. These practices can also activate shakti, the kundalini-fire-mother-dragon-goddess being that transforms and raises your consciousness, gives you increased magnetism and charisma, and reconfigures your physical body into a body of light.

Things that deplete prana include overdoing, overthinking, not listening to the needs of your body, being phony, and forcing yourself to do things you really don’t want to.

As they often say, the issues are in the tissues. Any time you raise the kundalini shakti energy, you access a greater degree of power to influence others and mould your environment, from healing your physical body, to manifesting your intentions, to attracting a following. The transformation and reconfiguration of your subtle bodies through this force also enhances your psychic senses and ability to access fields of information, such as the akashic records, that can increase your ability to effectively navigate through life. 

Breathwork practices that activate shakti are essentially rapid breathing practices, such as kapalabhati, bhastrika, holotropic breathing or the Wim Hof method. Plant medicine, invocations, mantras, ritual, and anything else that solicits help from higher spiritual beings additionally gives you access to the shakti of those beings. 

Activating shakti is like busting out the power tools. This gives you more power to clear and release blockages and attachments, especially those that have become embedded in the physical body.

However, as with any physical exercise program, go slow and build your capacity gradually. Purification can be an intense process and can occur in the form of vomiting, headaches, stomach pain, seizures, shaking, shivers, tears, rage or even laughter. Too much shakti can also overheat the body and increase inflammation. Be forewarned and take appropriate precautions to test your sensitivity and make sure you have the time, space, and support you will need to get through the deep cleanse process once it’s activated. 

For myself, because I am highly sensitive, a little goes a long way. There really is no need for additional power tools if the kundalini process is already active and flourishing inside you. It has its own intelligence and knows how much you can take. The power tools are most helpful when you find you’re stuck or stagnated in some way, or dealing with something you need to summon all your power for. 

Here are some further references if you wish to learn more about these topics:

  • Space clearing by Denise Linn: This is a lovely little book that can help you understand the importance of creating and maintaining sacred space in your home
  • Energy anatomy and creating strong boundaries: Read Eugenia Oganova’s article on increasing energy flow within the vertical tube and toroidal field 
  • Psychic attack and releasing cords: Steve Nobel has a wonderful library of articles and meditations to help you with this
  • Managing kundalini: There is so much misinformation on this topic that I hesitate to point to an outside resource so I will add a link here once I get around to writing an article on it myself.

What’s your party archetype?

Trust me, getting good at parties will be most important skill you invest in no matter what your lifestyle or dream is. 

You won’t ever hear anyone say it, but the most critical life skill you will ever develop is being good at parties.

Hear me out. Your diverse network of friends and their wealth of skills, advice and support, are an immense asset to the life you will build: from the business you start in the future, to how you meet your future spouse, raise your kids, buy a house, deal with crises, find a job, passion, career or hobby, or go on vacation. 

And getting that diverse network in place has everything to do with how you socialize and make connections. Getting good at it is all about how you express your unique brand, how you charm and inspire people, and what makes you likable.

Many people make the mistake of expecting this skill to come naturally but I’m here to tell you that like anything else it must be developed and honed over time. A few bad experiences early in life or a difficult environment at home, can leave you with crippling social anxiety, and the feeling like you never quite measure up or are enough. But succumbing to this feeling and isolating yourself will only make it worse.

Identifying your unique party archetype will help you zero in on what you naturally do best, and hone it to stellar quality. It will also help you understand the type of party you would be most welcome at and the people who would appreciate you the most. 

Let’s break it down.

1. The Gloria

Maybe your unique contribution to a party is your appearance. Consider the elegant fashionista whose presence elevates any event she attends. She doesn’t need to be smart or funny, or even say a word. All she needs to do is just listen and smile. Her contribution is simply in her being — in her style, elegance, beauty, and glamor. 

2. The Professor

On the other end of the spectrum you have those whose greatest contribution to a party is their intellect. These are the people who command a rapt audience as they eloquently discuss the finer details of global politics or wine making, share a dazzling array of factoids, or expound on some obscure topic. Their unique skill is in making anything fascinating and palatable through their own interest and curiosity. 

3. The Artist

Here you have your singers, dancers and musicians who can take any party up a notch by setting the mood for good vibes. The karaoke singer with the incredible voice, the guy with all the moves on the dance floor, the pianist playing old favorites for everyone to sing along to, the singer/songwriter serenading you with her guitar. They create atmosphere and provide entertainment.

4. The Charmer

Your unique contribution is the warmth you bring to the room. You’re the kind of person who walks around greeting everybody by name, with deep eye contact and genuine delight, making them feel extra special by remembering details about their lives and asking questions about how they’ve been that reveal how much you appreciate them. You make everybody feel welcome and at ease — although you can be a bit of a social butterfly, flitting from person to person, not pausing long enough for a substantial exchange. Your unique style means you are adept at meeting new people and making them feel like old friends in no time.

5. The Comedian 

You are the guy with all the wisecracks and dad jokes, putting a smile on everyone’s faces, even if you sometimes make them cringe. Or you’re the stand up comic entertaining everybody with your stories, opinions and physical mimicry. You’re always welcome at parties — even if you may stir up a bit of controversy, you do it with flair and panache. Unlike our next archetype…

6. The Donald Trump 

Let’s face it: you’re obnoxious but people put up with it. You’re unapologetically yourself and give voice to the politically incorrect things that everyone’s secretly thinking. You’re not to everyone’s taste but you do bring an element of interest to any otherwise vanilla gathering. You walk a fine line between attracting fans and making enemies — sooner or later you offend everyone! But you get invited to parties because your confidence and penchant for trouble is a vibe that we all need a little of in our lives. 

7. The Adventurer 

This is the person who is always swooping in from somewhere and about to head someplace else. They elevate the gathering by bringing an international flavor and sense of worldliness, glamor, and sophistication to those who might otherwise live humdrum lives. Alternatively, they might be more of an outdoors type or thrillseeker, a spiritual tourist, or hippie, scientist or anthropologist. Either way, they embody movement, lifelong learning, willingness to take risks, and an openness to new experiences.

8. The Host/Hostess 

You’re the guy or gal who really knows how to throw a shindig. Maybe you’re a fabulous cook and throw the best dinner parties, or perhaps you have an amazing house with a view or a pool. Your home might be the place everyone loves to drop by and you often have impromptu gatherings. You love having people over and offering nourishment for the belly or the soul.

9. The Chameleon 

If you don’t naturally fall into any one archetype, you might be a chameleon. As a chameleon, you may be adept at mimicking your environment and can adopt any persona as the occasion demands. For aspiring Chameleons, it doesn’t hurt to add any or all of the skills mentioned above to your repertoire. Learn to cook or mix a drink, make an effort with your appearance, always have a joke, a story or a few factoids on hand to share, go on a few adventures and don’t be afraid of a little controversy. Be willing to look foolish on the dance floor or at the open mic. Make an effort to at least say hi to everybody even if it feels awkward or uncomfortable. Cultivate charm by reading the manual on How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Develop the dexterity to blend in anywhere.

Whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself. This is an area of life worth paying attention to. Like everything else, practice makes perfect.

Pearls of wisdom

The goal is to be happy, not high

When you’re high, it’s a lot of fun. It feels so magical and wonderful to be in flow. But you can’t drive when you’re high because your judgement is impaired, you’re a hazard to yourself and others. It’s not a place to be making big decisions from. You need to be grounded and practical about the reality of human life when you make decisions.

The point is not to walk around wearing rose tinted glasses, the point is to cultivate  an inner glow of well being and clarity, to see the world as it is, not as you would like it to be, free of fear and conditioning.

Cleaning as a spiritual practice

Cleaning is such a great activity. It’s a devotional practice to your home.

When my house is sparkling clean, it makes such a difference to my energy and the energy of the space.

It is also great exercise – it keeps you moving in a way that burns the most calories (especially for women). 

The things you don’t want to hear

  1. Begin where you are
  2. The Lord is subtle but not malicious
  3. It won’t be easy, but it will be magical
  4. You’ll have to do the work
  5. Envy tells you how badly you want it
  6. You can’t always get what you want
  7. When we stop growing, we start dying
  8. Purpose is up to you
  9. We all have the same mission
  10. You can screw it all up

Create your Wheel of Life vision board

Last year, I channeled a workbook concept that I call The Wheel of Life. It was my first experience “downloading” an entire book in this manner. It was an idea that was tap-tap-tapping on my consciousness all weekend, and wouldn’t let up until I leapt out of bed on Sunday morning determined to get it out of my head and onto paper. I wasn’t able to stop typing until I had it all down, 12 hours later, still in my pajamas, having barely eaten more than a few snacks all day.

The Wheel of Life coaching system is essentially a synthesis of concepts borrowed from astrology, art therapy, and sacred ritual. The workbook guides you in creating your own personal Wheel of Life: a visual representation of your current life, overlaid with your dreams, prayers, and action plan, rendered in a form that is ancient, potent, ritualistic and symbolic. Your personal Wheel serves as a vision board, task list, and meditation mandala all in one. It is to be used and energized through a regular practice of gratitude and ritual.

Email me to get a free copy of the workbook if you’re curious to try it out for yourself.

The 12 houses

Each section of the Wheel (a house) can be thought of as a specific bucket of energy – an energy we need in order to thrive. That is why the Wheel is purposely laid out to give equal weight to each house. When all the buckets are filled to a healthy capacity, we can naturally expect to have a sense of fullness or fulfillment in life. 

The twelve houses in this system more or less map to the astrological houses although I took a few liberties to re-align some houses according to the quality of the energy they represent rather than sticking with the current canonical tradition.

In terms of practical application, not every house should be interpreted in the same way for every person. How a house is interpreted depends on the values, priorities and desires of each individual. The houses simply point to an energy. How that energy manifests will be unique for each person as every life is unique. 


Achieving balance

The Wheel is designed to help you find greater balance across your activities by identifying areas where you might be doing too much or not enough. Especially if you’re an overachiever, you might have found that there are times in your life where you’ve been so focused on your career or education that you have neglected your relationships. Or as a parent there may have been times when you became so overwhelmed by family obligations it affected your ability to relax and listen to your body. 

It may not always be optimal to live a perfectly balanced life at all times and this is okay. Balance may be achieved sequentially rather than all at once. At different points in time, one’s focus may need to be concentrated in a single area, or shift from one set of houses to another. The purpose of the Wheel is simply to make these choices conscious and deliberate.  

Especially if you are prone to the kind of anxiety that tells you you are not doing enough, you can use the Wheel to remind yourself that you are actually doing the best you feasibly can and have much to celebrate about yourself.

Surrendering to the mystery

All that being said, we would be wise to remember that not every life can be balanced across all houses. 

Some houses may be blessed with abundance for some whereas others may suffer from repeated disappointments and setbacks. It is natural and normal to have areas in your life where you feel stuck and exhausted. 

These are the mysteries of fate and destiny that our predecessors who developed astrology ascribed to the movements of the stars and planets. Whether you believe in astrology or not, it is important to recognize that in spite of our best plans and efforts we can only live our best lives within the parameters of the hand we have been dealt.

Since the Wheel of Life is a spiritual system and not just a psychological one, you are encouraged to “let go and let God” when you have hit a wall and give yourself room to breathe. In areas where things seem particularly stuck, it is often wiser to take a step back, rather than run yourself into the ground. In this case, it’s recommended to compose a prayer or affirmation, and shift your focus instead to something else that you can control.

God, or something like it

Back in my twenties I was an atheist. 

I believed “God” was something humans had made up to describe whatever lay beyond the limits of our knowledge. As a scientist and rationalist, I believed that as we pushed out the frontiers of our understanding, God would slowly be eclipsed from existence. 

In early 2011, I had a spiritual awakening where I experienced firsthand the reality of God as a universal and unconditional love that connects all things and makes us one. That which when we connect to, we ourselves become divine, omnipotent, heart-centered… and anything is possible. Miracles happen. 

It is when we are disconnected from that love, we suffer. 

On that occasion, I experienced myself as God.

This simultaneously blew my mind wide open and also became a secret I couldn’t possibly share with anyone. At least not anyone I knew at the time…

If God is good, then why is there evil and suffering in the world? 

When I reframed my understanding of God in this way, the “problem of evil” was settled in my mind as follows:

God is not the power that runs and controls the world. 

God is the Oneness that we have become separated from that is always trying to reconnect with us.

God is not the all powerful patriarch who created evil to test us, or teach us lessons, or to give us contrast. God is simply the Universal Love that is always trying to reach us that permeates all of existence. It is always available to connect with us, to restore us, to assist us if we choose to connect to it. 

Darkness or evil is everything that keeps us from reconnecting to the power of that Love.

Through every conflict and every revelation in human existence, God has been trying to reach us through the dense dark clouds of our own suffering, fear, doubt and self-loathing.

The process of healing 

Spiritual healing is the process that reconnects us to our essential Divinity: to our power, to our love, to connection with others and to all of creation. It clears away the dark cobwebs of depression, anxiety, despair, distortion, envy, hatred and helplessness.

It is a long process of peeling away layers and layers of pain and confusion but it has rewards all along the way. Every little victory counts. 

The process of healing is how we free ourselves from the prison of suffering.

Resonance or the Law of Attraction

In this vast sea of consciousness, like attracts like. What is within you will ultimately manifest outside of you whether you are conscious of it or not. That is why for manifestation intention is not enough: healing is necessary. The more conscious you become the more effectively you will be able to participate in the game of co-creation.

What does it mean to be conscious? It is to be fully present, awake and aware.

To be conscious is to able to see the world and know yourself through a clear lens, without the distortion of your traumas and conditioning, unconscious belief systems, stories, prejudices, anxieties, fear, and so on. It’s a tall order. But in the moments the clouds part, it is an exhilarating realization.

Karma

Karma is the universal law of cause and effect. It is the future timelines we set in motion with every thought and desire, the contracts we make with others, and the goals and mission we set for ourselves, both on this plane of existence and in between lifetimes. Karma propels us into incarnating over and over again until we’re finished with it.

If you’re still here, then you still have karma to play out.

A convoluted universe 

Within esoteric circles, there is a generally accepted story about the nature of our cosmos that we should be aware of. It presupposes intermediary spaces (usually referred to as “dimensions”) where the separation is less dense and it is easier to connect to the truth. These spaces or dimensions are populated with beings and objects, conflicts and histories, just like ours is, that we have been deeply involved with and influenced by since the beginning of time, and there is always a certain degree of interdimensional contact with those with eyes to see and ears to hear. These beings have variously been called everything from angels to aliens, gods and demons, jinns, fairies, poltergeists and everything in between. 

We ourselves are multidimensional beings living simultaneous existences on multiple levels. This is both very exciting and gets quite convoluted to wrap our minds around. We came here with contracts to play out and experiences we seek with other souls we want to connect with for reasons the human mind cannot fully grasp.

To make it even more fun, the nature of time is spherical (although we perceive it as linear) and time moves differently in different dimensions. 

All possible timelines are contained in the space of the Eternal Now or Source of Love that is the plane of existence we call God.

Alright.

We live in a fractal holographic universe with multiple planes of existence of interconnected stories where we play games of incarnation and forgetting, battling a darkness that we ourselves created to make things more interesting — because we can. Because the lower dimensions are spaces of free will where the simulation is free to play out any way it wants to without interference…

Let’s try again.

We live in a free will universe where the choice is ours to become everything we can be. Or not.

All it takes is everything.

Take a deep exhale.

Take a deep exhale

A channeled message of hope in a time of despair

Not all people are good no, not all people can be saved.

Yes… take a deep exhale. Because… miracles. Miracles are possibilities, they happen all the time. I am here to give you hope. 

Hope when the walls rise up in every direction, and trap you inside, when there are no doors, and no windows. For those times, I am here to tell you to take a deep exhale and expect miracles. 

When there seems to be no way out and everything seems dark and cloudy and it feels like the end of the road, and there are only two possibilities: the road either goes on or you die.

Richard Bach said, “Here’s a test to know if your mission in life is over — if you’re still breathing, it’s not.”

It is just for those times, that I give you this hope: if you’re still breathing there is something for you to do here, and if you make your life about always contributing something then you will always have something to apply yourself to.

When I said, not all people can be saved, not all people are good, I meant, yes, help people around you, but be picky about who you help, and who you make friends with. Be picky about who your really deep close friends are, picky about the company you keep, picky about the influences you allow, who you give your love to, and what you let into your life.

What do you eat?

What do you consume?

What do you allow to hurt you or change you or destroy you?

You do have choices. What you choose to consume, what you choose to expose yourself to, the risks you choose to take, the part that you choose to play — these are all choices that are in your hands. 

You are not here to suffer. 

Yes, here is some suffering that is beyond your control. 

Every life has a little bit of suffering, some lives have a lot. 

But we can soften the suffering with our attitude to not grow hard in the suffering. I’m not here to tell you you can avoid suffering. We are here to do hard things and some of those hard things are not by choice. We are here to do hard things, the hard things that we put in our way, we are here figure out how to do them well, how to be strong and open hearted. 

What is strength?

Strength is mental and emotional strength, to not fall into despair or depression, to keep going, keep loving, stay in integrity. Keep an eye on the bigger picture, to have a good attitude. Remember how our job here is to not add to the suffering, to remember that our job is to bring the miracle vibrations into the world, into our lives and the lives of the people around us. Our job is to bring the good vibrations and as long as we can tune into the sun the sky the rain flowers trees there will be a balm for suffering, something to soothe us.

Tamam shud. 

What is Shamanism

what is shamanism and where does the term shamanism come from

Since time immemorial, across every culture on earth, people have turned to the inner worlds for healing, strength and clarity. The term “shamanic” as I use it refers to this universal phenomenon, not tied to a particular culture or tradition—a spiritual rather than a psychological system, based on the ability to step outside the modes of conventional thinking to authentically access altered states and hold space for healing to occur.

In this sense, pretty much every new age practitioner is doing shamanic work, whether they are a channel, a healer, a medium, a psychic, a card reader, a life coach, or anything else. This applies to most artists as well: musicians, poets, dancers, painters, and so on. And it applies to all forms of ritual and ceremony, prayer, invocation, mantras, and deity visualizations, whether Christian, Wiccan, Sufi, Hindu or Tibetan. They are all connecting to other levels of reality to bring back something of value. This is the essence of shamanism.

Where does the term “shaman” come from?

The term shaman or šaman comes to us from the Manchu-Tungus people of Siberia, and may have originated from the Evenki word šamán.

Although for many of us the term shaman suggests a medicine person of South American or Native American origin, this is technically inaccurate. The chart below, courtesy of Julia Penelope’s excellent article on 6 Reasons To Stop Using The Word Shaman, illustrates all the words she could find in 15 minutes from different languages that are frequently re-labeled under the aegis of shaman. In Latin America, for instance, the practice of spiritual healing is called curanderismo and the term for a traditional healer is curandero or curandera.

Why then do so many people associate the term “shaman” with South or Native American cultural practices?

The term “shaman” in Western circles was popularized by the anthropologists Mircea Eliade (Shamanism: Archaic techniques of Ecstasy, 1964), Michael Harner (The Way of the Shaman, 1980) , and Carlos Castaneda (The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, 1968), with the wholly well-meaning intent to replace the term witch doctor or sorcerer with a term less loaded with a negative or demeaning connotation. These were the first Western academics to take a serious interest in indigenous mystical practices.

Both Michael Harner and Carlos Castaneda lived and studied with the Shuar (Jívaro) of Ecuador, and Harner went on to found the The Foundation for Shamanic Studies that offers a 3-year certification as a shamanic practitioner. A majority of modern practitioners of shamanic healing methods are connected to this school, hence the assumed connection of the term shaman with South America.

Mircea Eliade, who was first to defend the use of this term in a broader context, defines a shaman as follows:

he is believed to cure, like all doctors, and to perform miracles of the fakir type, like all magicians […] But beyond this, he is a psychopomp, and he may also be a priest, mystic, and poet.

If we define shamanism this way, Eliade claims, we find that the term covers a collection of phenomena that share a common and unique structure and history across the cultural spectrum.

What is core shamanism vs cultural shamanism vs neoshamanism?

In the spirit of Eliade’s views, Michael Harner coined the term core shamanism, in acknowledgement of the near universal phenomenon across numerous cultures, traditions, and religions, of healers, mystics, prophets, priests, musicians, artists, poets, etc. who have accessed altered states of consciousness, through a variety of techniques, in order to interact with the Spirit world and receive its gifts. Harner’s Foundation for Shamanic Studies aims to restore time-honored techniques to the Western world, to enable those of us raised outside of cultures that have preserved these practices to be able reconnect with our own internal spiritual resources. Hence, core shamanism focuses on universal techniques, most specifically drumming, and not on any specific cultural context in which they may be practiced. When I refer to my work as “shamanic” I am referring to this use of the term.

Cultural shamanism, by contrast, refers to the traditional ways of individual cultures. There is much to learn and unpack on the why and how of these masters of reality, who are as varied as they are alike. Nevertheless, those practicing cultural shamanism are often quick to criticize, with good reason, practitioners of core shamanism or neoshamanism who don traditional dress, and make use of sacred objects, without the proper initiations, and without a full understanding of their meaning and the depth of the culture they come from. In general, it is a good rule of thumb to approach the tradition in the way of the tradition, lest we wake a sleeping giant — in my view, the sacred should always be approached with the utmost respect! I am also personally extremely sensitive to implied or intended cultural appropriation, which is an important topic in the world today, and I am currently treading lightly, trying to find my way through this maze.

Neoshamanism refers to the immense popularity of drumming and entheogens (such as ayahuasca and peyote) among experience seekers and new age practitioners, along with other eclectic methods of achieving ecstatic trance states, healing, or visions. This can include a grab bag of necessarily watered-down practices (including vision quests, sweat lodges, ecstatic dancing, breathing techniques, fasting) catering to the spiritual tourist, that generally don’t have the power of when they are practiced within the full cultural context. For the cultural practitioner, these practices are frequently found to be offensive, the major criticisms being that neoshamanism 1) plays down the real dangers of interacting with the spirit world without the proper protections of an initiatory lineage and guidance of a master, 2) features a denial of the hardship of shamanic initiation and preparation, and the necessity of deep study to develop a keen understanding of the nature of the other worlds, and 3) most importantly, diverges from both cultural and core shamanism in that it is often focused on self gratification, whereas the true path of the shaman is that of service, to be a bridge between the worlds, going where most mortals fear to tread.

Are you a shaman?

shaman, in the true sense, is a master healer, in the same vein as a guru or a saint. A self-professed shaman rarely is, and it is well understood that the highest spiritual initiates who walk between the worlds often do their work in secret and maintain a low profile.

Just as a guru or a saint, a shaman is recognized rather than certified. Hence, for those of us using the term in a descriptive sense for a particular style of healing, the correct term is shamanic practitioner.

The modern shamanic practitioner is a synthesis of knowledge derived across lifetimes and cultures. Ultimately, only one thing defines a shaman: whether you are called by Spirit or not. There is work to be done in this world, and when Spirit knocks, we answer.

References

The Journey Continues

If you’re interested in further unpacking what has been briefly touched upon on this website, the following is a short list of further resources for the serious seeker. The list is based on teachers/teachings that I have personally found to be profoundly authentic and useful in furthering my own understanding.

Enjoy!

Only love can heal

We find stories of star-crossed lovers in myth and legend all over the world. It is clear that romantic love isn’t just a modern Hollywood invention to sell more movies. It is a motif that is deeply ingrained into our psyche.

These lovers and their stories have something to teach us and a deep wisdom to offer. 

In the new age world, we hear a lot about the twin flame relationship. Some say these are souls that were once joined as one and are now split asunder — with the task to some day come back together in wholeness and union. Long ago, Plato described such souls and, more recently, so did Edgar Cayce.

Perhaps I don’t necessarily believe in the conjoined souls idea: I certainly do not believe we are half, or that we get just one shot at love. But I do believe in a special kind of soulmate, a mirror soul who incarnates to play a very special purpose in our lives — and that is accelerated growth and awakening. That is what I believe twin flames are.

The magic of romantic love

Love is a force like no other, an unleashing of power beyond your wildest imagination.

Amazing things can happen when you are in love! You are raised into such a level of bliss and possibility that things that have been bothering you for a long time can finally shift. Just imagine the giddiness and pure joy that being in love brings. The intense presence in every moment with the Beloved. The inability to think or breathe anything but the essence of the Lover. This is the ultimate expression of divine madness that can be experienced through the magical evocation of the “twin flame” or mirror in human form.

As blissful as it is in its purest cosmic form, it is also the most painful experience your ego will ever have. It goes deep into levels of your soul you have never before experienced. It unearths things you have buried so deep into your subconscious, you have no hope of uncovering them through any of the usual methods and practices.

We get a taste of its ultimate expression during the honeymoon of bliss. And then the obstacles appear that must be battled one by one, layer by layer, until there is nothing left but the pure bliss of love and devotion.

The mirror relationship promises nothing and demands everything. This is no ordinary encounter. It is the most profound depth of healing you can achieve while in physical form. 

—–The following channeled section is energy encoded—–

Beloved, expand into your cosmic self to know the true meaning of human love 

This is an initiation into the mysteries of what you call romantic love, the sort of all-consuming love that desires nothing more and nothing less than to merge completely into the beloved.

And so you can also imagine by the same token, it applies also to a soul’s longing for the divine and human relationship with God, the source of all truth joy peace wonder awe and magic.

The source of love and light, the heart opening, the crown opening, the opening of sight and vision, a portal to being cosmic, into becoming cosmic.

It is the transmutation of the kundalini energy, sexual energy, that deeply roots us into life and the transmutation and the raising of that energy into that which is transcendental, that which transcends life.

And this is the ultimate mystery of romantic love, which is the raising of the sexual awareness into the heart, it is the descent of the cosmic soul into the heart, it is the explosive meeting of these two energies in the heart, and then the expansion from the heart in waves into the entire energy field that expands, that pulsates outwards from it with waves of love, of healing, of transcendence.

It is a level of healing and transmutation of samskaras, a clearing of the energy field at the very deepest levels.

—–end of transmission—-

Working with your triggers

Twin flames or mirror souls trigger one another at a level of pain, insecurity, and fear that reaches into the deepest childhood wounds, and uncovers every trauma from this life or any other. You will never feel more naked, stripped down to your very core. This is why it is near impossible for these lovers to stay together, or perhaps even get together. It may be too much for them to even be lovers as sex unleashes intense energies and cording of its own. Nonetheless, whatever they are, it is a strong bond and a role of immense significance.

This is not a toxic relationship, nor an abusive one, but it can feel disorienting and chaotic because it is an intense mirror shining all your hopes and fears back at you, in the form of the horror picture show that you appear to be when in the throes of the distorted circus mirror of your deepest self loathing. 

This is why you run.

This is why you scream.

This is why you sob like there is no tomorrow.

And then when you are done feeling and releasing, you realize, your beloved never intended all the things you projected on to them. You recognize the depth of your delusion, the distortions you project on to your reality.

And they shift with you. As you heal yourself and raise your vibration, they heal and raise up as well. Your energies are perfectly and vulnerably matched and intertwined. 

It is an incredible opportunity 

A unique gift

But what will you do with it?

Will you heal?

Or will you be consumed by fear?

Will you hold on or let go?

Your guides and angels are standing by to help you. This relationship is divinely guided and gifted, and you will have all the support you need — just listen for it.